ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A confirmed case of viral meningitis has been confirmed at Bay Pointe Elementary in St. Petersburg, according to a letter the school’s principal sent home to parents Monday afternoon.
It is not clear whether a student or school employee contracted the virus.
Viral meningitis, an enterovirus, is caused by inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and meninges. ( Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://1.usa.gov/I6hJAb)
However, the illness can often be resolved without treatment and it isn’t as severe as bacterial or fungal meningitis.
State health officials confirmed fungal meningitis is what killed a Florida man died in July.
He is one of 12 who have died in a nation-wide outbreak of meningitis, according to CNN. ( http://bit.ly/Qb3HxH)
There are six other Floridians who have become ill from the virus, with 120 people total in the U.S.
The outbreak has been linked to contaminated steroid injections. Enteroviruses are mostly spread through fecal contamination, which can occur when changing a diaper or not washing hands properly after using the bathroom.
Symptoms of viral meningitis include an abrupt onset of fever, chills and headaches, a sensitivity to light and back or neck stiffness.
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